Preparations for the 2015-running of the Le Mans 24-Hour Race pick up speed this weekend when the event’s Pre-Test takes place on Sunday.
All of the competing teams and drivers entered to participate in the race on June 13-14 will complete mandatory laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe as the test on the part public road course is the only one annually ahead of the race week itself.
Brackley’s Anthony Davidson will lead the Toyota attack, driving the number one Toyota TS-040 Hybrid. The reigning WEC champion said: “This is the race that we want to win. So far this season we have found it hard to be on the direct pace of Audi and Porsche - but at Le Mans we think it will be a different story.
“Our whole season is built around this one race, and as a result we will be working very hard to try and win it.”
Whittlebury’s Strakka Racing will be in action with their Dome S103-Nissan. Their LMP2 specification car will be driven by Jonny Kane, Stowe’s Nick Leventis and Thornborough’s Danny Watts.
The team’s Dome car made its FIA WEC debut at Silverstone last month, with Watts saying this week: “It will be great to go back to Le Mans!”
Watts and Strakka Racing missed the 24-Hours last year due to teething problems with the Dome, but the car has been totally reworked and has shown good pace so far this season.
Watts added: “We hope we have a strong test that will allow us to build pace for race week. The aim is to survive the test day without incident and then look towards the race.”
The Brackley-based Murphy Prototypes team will also contest the LMP2 class. Their Oreca 03-Nissan, fresh from a strong performance in the ELMS race at Imola, will be driven by Mark Patterson, Nathanael Berthon and Brackley’s Karun Chandhok.
Although Marc Gene will not be driving for the Nissan team in the LMP1 class, the former Buckingham University student, and 2009 Le Mans winner, will act as a driver ambassador for the marque. He will oversee and have input to all three of the manufacturere’s GTR-LM cars, that will wear the numbers 21, 22 and 23.
The cars have already made their way to France from their Silverstone base, and will be driven by Tsugio Matsuda, Mark Shulzhitskiy, Lucas Ordonez, Harry Tincknell, Michael Krumm, Alex Buncombe, Olivier Pla, Jann Mardenborough and Max Chilton.
The Pre-Test will offer eight hours of track time, with the green flag waved to start the session at 9am.